“A sense of community” is hard to define, but when it’s present, it catches the eye like a cut diamond in the sun. It’s neighbors coming out of their homes to help one another on a snowy day. It’s a fledgling food co-op as it builds momentum. And it’s proud parents – and their oddball friends – cheering from the stands as their children play ball.

This is the first month of a new year and the same week as Martin Luther King Day. So today is an opportune time to examine the threads which, woven together, create the fabric of community.

There isn’t much to like about shoveling snow, but it’s a splendid way to get to know your neighbors. Better still, it provides welcome relief for other, less fortunate folks who can’t shovel snow on their own

Last week’s storms brought out the best in my neighborhood. A good neighbor was out at dusk with his snowblower, and another guy two doors down soon arrived with a shovel. They cleared the sidewalk in short order, then waded into the driveway of the family that lives between them. It’s a safe bet the owners of that home weren’t looking forward to shoveling seven inches of snow from their steep driveway, after work, in the dark.

Working together, the two men cleared their mutual neighbor’s driveway in about 10 minutes. Twenty minutes later, the in-betweeners arrived home with their young children and went straight inside to make dinner. They knew someone had done them a good turn and, believe me, they were grateful.

One day later, the lady across the street got her little Honda high-centered in the snow. A good neighbor was on his knees, digging the car out when a friend who lives a couple of blocks away happened to drive past. The friend stopped, and the two men worked shoulder to shoulder to free the stuck vehicle.

The car’s owner was effusive in her thanks and vowed to bring everybody a home-cooked meal someday soon.

Neighbor-helping-neighbor stories may sound banal, but it’s moments like these that bring out the best in everyone. It’s one facet in the diamond of community, glinting in the sun.

The nascent Pullman Good Food Co-op is roughly halfway to its goal of 500 founding members. My wife and I are lifetime members of the Moscow Food Co-op, and we like the vibe of the place, so we jumped at the chance to become founding members of a similar, nonaligned co-op in Pullman.

As I understand it, the Pullman Good Food Co-op will feature a bakery and full-service grocery store with locally grown produce, grains and meat.

Before that can happen, the co-op needs to buy and remodel a building. It’s a major undertaking and lenders, understandably, want to see a stable customer base before making a sizeable investment.

If you’re not one already, consider becoming a founding member of the Pullman Good Food Co-op. A household membership costs $200; it’s a one-time payment and there are no annual fees.

For more information, fire up Google and follow your nose to the Pullman Good Food Co-op.

Two children of former NBA wild man Dennis Rodman will be attending Washington State University later this year. Son D.J. is already on campus, playing basketball for the Cougars. Daughter Trinity – the top-rated high school forward in the country – will play soccer for WSU in the fall.

With two of his kids playing ball in Pullman, Papa Rodman probably will be in the stands to watch a game or two. And he might not be alone because Rodman has struck up an unlikely kinship with the Supreme Leader of North Korea.

No, I am not making this up.

Add it all up and there’s a chance that Rodzilla, with a head full of green hair and a face full of metal piercings, could bring his sidekick Kim Jong-un to Pullman to catch some hoops or futbol.

Unorthodox diplomacy is in vogue these days, so the greatest rebounder in NBA history and the Big Daddy of the Hermit Kingdom could negotiate a nuclear non-proliferation treaty at Rico’s Pub. After that, they might hammer out a military nonaggression pact.

If all that comes to pass, Rodman and Kim Jong-un will have created a global-sized sense of community, right here in little ol’ Pullman.

Dream big. It’s free.

William Brock lives in Pullman.

Recommended for you